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WinStar Home Entertainment presents
Infinity's Child (1999)

"In the infinite universe, there is no possibility of event, only the certain reality of all events. Everything exists."
- the Phleig Narrator

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: April 26, 2000

Director: Jan Nickman

MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 00h:40m:00s
Release Date: April 11, 2000
UPC: 720917304922
Genre: animation


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C D-D+D C

DVD Review

The concept which forms the excuse for this disc is that an alien race of planetary travelers, the Phleig (appropriately pronounced "flake") finds a gateway world which leads to a shift of consciousness and an entry point to realities beyond. The entire film is computer-animated, and consists of nothing but alien scenes which morph from one to another. If one thinks of the stargate sequence of 2001, extended to 40 minutes but not as well done, you will have a fair idea of what to expect from this film.

While I am a fan of animation, including computer animation, I found this film an extremely tedious exercise. One abstract picture after another is not a satisfactory viewing experience, especially since nothing stays still long enough to get a very good look at it. In fact, the animation is not particularly good: some scenes are jerky and obviously computer manipulated, and many scenes have heavy pixelation, with clearly digital edges.

In all, the project comes off as pointless, narcissistic obsession. The creators seem to be devoted to seeing how many morphs after another they can create, without any visible point or progression. One of the real howlers is the credit for "original craft concepts", since they are nothing more than garden variety flying saucers.

Somebody must like this material, since Infinity's Child is a sequel to a similar film, Planetary Traveler. I haven't seen that film, but judging from its trailer, which is included on this disc, the animation on the second film is a good deal superior to the original. Two overly long trailers for Infinity's Child are also included.

Even though the film is only 40 minutes in length, it seems a good deal longer. I found myself constantly checking the time remaining on the disc only to be horrified to realize there was still much more to go. Perhaps this is what they mean by a bending of consciousness; I know that my life would seem much, much longer if I had to watch this every day.

Rating for Style: C
Rating for Substance: D-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: As noted above, there is heavy pixelation, and there is a fair amount of moiré effect at times. Considering how absolutely perfect computer animation can be (such as A Bug's Life or Antz), this effort seems amateurish by comparison. The one saving grace is that the colors are eye-poppingly beautiful and vivid throughout. Those who can spend hours with a kaleidoscope probably would enjoy the image.

Image Transfer Grade: D+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The music, like the animation, is all electronically generated by Paul Haslinger, who apparently was once associated with Tangerine Dream. This music has the same flavor as that band's music, a monotonous, amorphous, electronic haze. The audio transfer has significant problems. There are several brief audio dropouts, and the 5.1 track, in particular, is unlistenable, with a muddy, boomy bass. The stereo 2.0 track is less annoying and at times is even pleasant. However, there's not much substance here, which is fitting for the film that it's married to. The only dialogue is a brief voiceover at the beginning and the end; the first sets up the supposed situation in a few sentences and the closing includes the meaningless and murky meanderings quoted above.

Audio Transfer Grade: D

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 6 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in Japanese , French, Spanish, German, Korean with remote access
2 Original Trailer(s)
1 Other Trailer(s)Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. DVD-ROM access: weblinks, Quicktime VR, demo version of Bryce 4 software used to make the feature and selected 3d scene files (not reviewed); package says it is accessible by both MacOS and Windows
  2. Interviews with the director, composer, concept artist Bill Ellsworth and animator Rodney L'Ongnion
  3. Gallery of original concept art
Extras Review: The interviews are mildly interesting, although brief. We learn little about the creative process beyond the fact that all of the creators worked out of their own homes. Thankfully, these interviews are tightly edited and are not allowed to meander like the main feature.

The best extra is the gallery presenting several dozen images of the concept art, digitally created by Bill Ellsworth. It is nice to be able to actually look at some of this interesting abstract art without it being morphed elsewhere to no purpose.

Extras Grade: C

 

Final Comments

This disc is best reserved for devotees of "trip films" and people who find the motion of lava lamps deeply significant and profound.

 


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